From left to right: Dot-Marie Jones, Miss Lawrence and TS Madison in a scene from "Bros." Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

'Bros' Reportedly Accounted for 80% of Transgender Representation in Film Last Year

Emell Adolphus READ TIME: 2 MIN.

As it turns out, Billy Eichner's "Bros" really was ahead of its time.

A new annual report from USC's Annenberg Inclusion Initiative found that the film accounted for 80% of all transgender characters in the 100 top-grossing movies of 2022. Yes, you read that correctly – 80%!

As reported by Variety, the study found that 87 out of 4,169 speaking or named characters (2.1%) in 2022 identified as LGBTQ+. And of that number, five characters identified as transgender, and four of them appeared in "Bros."

Released September 2022, the film earned just $14.7 million worldwide, despite a bunch of historic firsts: It was the first film to feature an exclusively LGBTQ+ cast and it was the first gay rom-com to be given a nationwide theatrical release by a major studio.

The diversity study – authored by Dr. Stacy L. Smith, Dr. Katherine Pieper, and Sam Wheeler – reviewed a total of 69,858 speaking characters covering the 1,600 top films from 2007 to 2022, "examining the inclusion factors of gender, race/ethnicity, LGBTQ+ identity and characters with disabilities, as well as below the line departments including directors, writers, producers, composers and casting directors," Variety reports.

Since the study's initial development in 2007, "There has been no meaningful increase in the percentage of LGBTQ characters in top movies," the report notes. However, there have been "numerical shifts." For instance in 2022, 9 of the top-grossing films featured an LGBTQ+ lead/co-lead, the largest number to date.

"When we look beyond gender and race/ethnicity, it is clear that Hollywood's problems with inclusion are even more pronounced for the LGBTQ+ and disability communities," said Smith. "The lack of progress in these areas suggests that executives and content creators are relying on practices that continue to marginalize and exclude talented voices from all backgrounds."

A key takeaway Smith noted was that the "entertainment industry has little desire or motivation to improve casting processes in a way that creates meaningful change for girls and women. The lack of progress is particularly disappointing following decades of activism and advocacy."

by Emell Adolphus

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